Working-class Americans could see their wages rise because of the GOP tax overhaul, former CKE Restaurants CEO Andy Puzder told CNBC on Tuesday.
After the passage of the Republicans' tax plan last week, Fifth Third Bancorp and Wells Fargo said they would raise their minimum wages for employees to $15 an hour. Other companies, including CNBC parent company Comcast, announced bonuses.
President Donald Trump on Friday praised corporations for showing the tax plan "love."
@realDonaldTrump Our big and very popular Tax Cut and Reform Bill has taken on an unexpected new source of "love" - that is big companies and corporations showering their workers with bonuses. This is a phenomenon that nobody even thought of, and now it is the rage. Merry Christmas!
"You're already seeing an increase in wages for people, which is what we haven't seen since the end of the recession," said Puzder, who withdrew his nomination as Trump Labor secretary.
"This bill is a big deal, and I think people are going to see that in the coming months," Puzder added in an interview on "Squawk Box." He said he doesn't think some fast food chains will go to $15 an hour soon, but workers could see bigger checks next year.
Some people have questioned whether bonuses and wage increases will be enough to prove tax cuts will benefit American workers. And Democrats called the tax plan a giveaway to corporations at the expense of the middle class, expressing concerns that it could add more than $1 trillion to add to federal deficit over a decade.
Puzder, now an economic policy advisor at America First Policies, acknowledge that the tax bill could have been better if there had been bipartisan support. He also said critics who claim the tax plan benefits the wealthy probably haven't read the legislation.
"Once people start to see those bigger paychecks in February, all of this malarkey about this is a give to the rich and it is going to hurt working and middle classes are going to go away," he said.